August 9, 2011
Mom said it happens to all the girls, but I think she was just trying to make me feel better. In the same breath she warned me not to talk about it to school because the girls it hadn't happened to yet would be embarrassed and jealous that I got it first. I went to school the next few days obsessively staring at all the other little girls, staring at their bottoms, their tiny breasts, their arm hairs, wondering if they were going through what I was.

Mom had to buy me all new underwear, because I ruined mine. She bought me a lot of new dresses and skirts so no one would notice. She said I was going to experience a lot of changes in my body and my emotions and to be read for that. That explained why I would cry and laugh and scream all at once. She bought me special deodorant for my changing body and said I'd get to go shopping for new shoes soon. She made it sound like a privilege, but I just felt like a disgusting freak. I asked if it would happen to my little brother and she said no, it only happened to girls, and I thought that was unfair.

After a few weeks the tail stopped growing. It was about four inches long and soft and fuzzy. I had to cut holes in my panties so it wouldn't chafe against my skin. It was a bright turquoise blue, but Mom said that color could change. I kind of liked it. It wagged when I was really excited, bounced to the beat of any music, and flattened when I was sad. It was hard to see without a mirror. Now I know why dogs are always running in circles. Luckily, unlike dogs, I could reach back and pet it to remind myself it was still there.

Soon the hair on my body had thickened and darkened to a electric teal. This was when I was positive no one else was experiencing the changes that I was. I wore long baggy clothes to cover all of my arms and legs, grateful it hadn't spread to my face yet. I started getting overwhelmed by the heat and it smelled rancid, the stench of sweaty damp fur pressed close to my body with no room to breathe. I was embarrassed by the odor but after a while I stopped noticing it. None of the other girls had fur. I looked at adult women, wondering if they shaved their fur off. Mom said I couldn't shave it off, that it would grow back thicker. I thought it was an old wive's tale so I locked myself in the bathroom and spent an hour meticulously shaving a small patch on my stomach. When it was smooth I put the razor on the sink and looked at myself in the mirror. Within seconds the hair had grown back, twice as long as it had been. I cried into my furry blue hands and didn't emerge from the bathroom for hours.

My ears enlarged enough to poke out of my hair and my horns came in gnarled and pointy. I stopped going to school. I could have worn a hat but if I needed to raise my paw, the claws would frighten everyone. I didn't even discuss it with my parents. They just woke up one morning and I was sitting on the couch watching television instead of getting on the bus. It was Clarissa Explains it All, not that this part matters, but it's a really good show.

"I'm a monster," I cried to mom. My brother was hiding around the corner, terrified of me. My mother held me in her arms.
"We all are. You're just better at it than others. You're an overachiever."

My habits evolved as well as I grew up. I didn't like sleeping in my bed anymore; I preferred to lurk in closets and under the bed. I no longer had an appetite for pizza and soda; obviously I now hungered for blood and human flesh. Mom taught me to feast only on emotions like despair and loneliness and defeat. These things weren't as delicious but they were filling. Sucking out the passions of civilians got dull occasionally. Sometimes I would slip up and accidentally devour a bratty child or a postal worker. When I came home with human blood smeared over my furry face, staining my sharp pointed teeth and leathery lips, my parents looked at me in disappointment. And rightly so, they had raised me much better than that. 

When I ate my brother it was the only time they scolded me. I felt bad but he was so tantalizingly scrumptious. They forced me to defecate him out using laxatives and meatmucil. They duct taped him back up together. He was smelly and scared for a few days but other than that, as good as ever. I felt bad, but we monsters are somewhat attracted to fear. As that emotion diminished, he became less tempting. He became used to me and my terrifying monstrosity. As he grew bigger than me he became more comfortable and to this day he will pet me and take me for walks at night so I can howl at the moon.

Night Gardening

August 9, 2011
Alison lay in bed listening to the clock tick loudly. Next to her, Greg wasn't snoring, just laying silently. Sometimes she wondered if he was really awake and listening when this was happening. She quietly leaned over, careful not to disrupt the covers or shift her weight too much. Her long wavy blonde hair fell across her shoulders like a curtain. She placed her ear next to his head and held her breath, listening to his sleeping dreams. At first she didn't hear anything, but she quieted her...
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The Ring

August 9, 2011
Denise sat in the darkened room rubbing her hands against each other repeatedly. Her bedroom was cool and a breeze was reaching in through the window ruffling her hair. She rocked back and forth, sitting on her butt, with her arms crossed tightly over her knees. She rotated back on her heels to the same rhythm as her heart beat, a short punchy staccato. There were sounds of soft conversation, plates being moved around, and occasional abrasive laughter coming from downstairs. Denise rolled her...
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Dave the Plumber

August 9, 2011
Dave the plumber stood in the stranger's bathroom, staring into the depths of the toilet, trying to imagine them, the food they ate, their favorite movies. He smiled shyly to himself as he dusted off the counter, wiping two long stray hairs into his palm. The hair was wiry and black and long, moist with tap water. He reached into his tool box and got out a ziplock baggie and sealed the hairs up and nestled the ziplock back in his tool box with several other identical baggies.

On his walk home ...

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August 9, 2011
John woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. Theresa lay beside him, sleeping. Her breath was deep and rhythmically even, her breasts rising and falling beneath the white sheet. John put his face in his hands and tried to drown out the screaming. It was the third night this week that he had been woken up by anguished tortured cries. He grew cold and quiet as he listened in the darkness. John looked over at the girl next to him. He bounced up and down violently on the bed, knocking...
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Clean Up Time

August 9, 2011
The apartment was mostly empty, void of furniture, art, food, and everything that could potentially elicit an emotional sensation. The two boys sat on the grey couch. Al flipped channels rapidly on the tv. Steven fidgeted, rubbing his hands over each other drying out his skin, and shuffling his feet against the floor. Dust lay over the arm of the couch smiling in the dull light as dirt accumulated around the corners of the door. 

"So what are we doing in Jennifer's apartment?" Steven asked.

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Trying to Study

August 9, 2011
"Hey, Brian how's it going?" Dean cheerfully said, flopping down on the common room couch. Brian sighed quietly as Dean and his three loud friends invaded what had a few minutes ago been a quiet relaxing area. The four boys popped open small cans of Raineer and turned on the television.
"Hi Dean," Brian said. "Hi.... guys." Sitting at the table behind piles of books and papers he tried to crawl back into the mindstate of concentration but it was like he had lost the key. His notes seemed scatt...

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August 9, 2011
Grey clouds loomed over the proceedings as Steve's casket was wheeled out onto the mound. Rain drizzled down onto the green grass and the family sobbed and dripped goobers into their black sleeves.

"Oh shit," Tim said, looking down into the fishbowl at the tiny funeral.
"What's up?" Bobby asked, without looking up from his computer monitor whilst playing ski-free. 
"One of them died."
"They do that."
"It was Steve," Tim said, one hand resting on the fish bowl.
"That means nothing to me."
"The one wi...

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My New Outfit

August 9, 2011
I sat at the lunch table trying to eat my tuna fish sandwich. I clumsily gripped the soft wheat bread between my fingers, pinching too hard and leaving mushy prints. I lifted the sandwich and jammed it messily into my mouth. I chewed for a few moments and swallowed uncomfortably. My friends sat around me chatting and laughing. My eyes swelled in my sockets as I observed, watering as I moistened and clogged the bread into my epiglotas. 

Their conversation was like a ping pong match because thei...

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The Cave

August 9, 2011
Alice wiped the sweat off her forehead, forgetting that her hand was covered in mud. She cringed and the follicles of earth and water and animal defecation seeped into her open glistening pores. Her auburn ponytail beat against her back while she hiked across the cliff side. The strong ocean breeze pulled at her shorts and shaggy leg hair. She stepped carefully amongst the rocks to keep her balance in the wind. Salt stung her watery eyes and she panted heavily as she struggled beneath her her...
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